Shacking Up VS Marriage – Dave Ramsey

In this You Tube video Dave Ramsey talks about the importance of marrying rather than shacking up together. He talks mainly about the financial consequences of living together vs. marrying. Dave talks about the fact that there is research out now that shows there is a strong “economic power” within marriage.

Marriage VS Shacking Up or Cohabiting Together

Here are a few additional reasons that “shacking up” together is problematic:

• “The Houston Chronicle reported that couples who live together before marriage have an 80 percent greater chance of divorce after they are married than those who don’t cohabit first. A Washington State researcher discovered that women who cohabit with a man are twice as likely to experience domestic violence as are married women. The National Center for Mental Health revealed that the incidence of depression among cohabiting women is four times greater than that among married women, and two times greater than depression among unmarried women.

“In a survey of more than 100 couples who lived together, 71 percent of the women said they would not live-in again. In practice, cohabiting couples who marry —many of whom already have children —are about 33 percent more likely to divorce than are couples who don’t live together before their nuptials. …While test driving a car might be a good idea, “trying out” one’s future partner is not. (From the book “Sexual Intimacy in Marriage” by Dr William Cutrer and Sandra Glahn)

Additionally, Prayerfully Consider:

• “Cohabiting not only leads to higher divorce rates, says research, but it’s highly unstable. Half of all co-habitees’ relationships last less than a year. And 90% end within five years, mostly because couples break up, according to a study by New York’s Cornell University, published in the journal Demography. We know cohabiting couples are less assured than married couples. Also, they tend to be more violent with reduced concern for fidelity. Plus, cohabiting men and women also share a greater likelihood of depression than their married counterparts.” (Jennifer Parks, from the Edmonton Sun article: “Perils of ‘Living in Sin'”)

• “At least half of all newlyweds have lived together first, researchers say. And David Popenoe, a Rutgers University sociologist, estimates that two-thirds of people who marry have lived with somebody else first. Live-in unions are more fragile than marriages. About 41% of unmarried opposite-sex couples living together have children younger than 18 at home. But sociologists Pamela Smock and Wendy Manning have found that children born to couples who live together have about twice the risk of seeing their parents split than those with married biological parents. (From the USA TODAY article, written by Rick Hampson and Karen S. Peterson, “The State of Our Unions”)

And if you have children together:

• “Cohabitation also deteriorates parental authority. For single parents who are interested in the spiritual training of their children, cohabitation makes the strength of their message weaker. ‘How can mom tell me not to do something when she moved us into his house before they were married?’ I’ve heard many an adolescent ask. ‘Good point,’ I respond. I’ll never forget hearing one child say, ‘We go to church, but I’m not sure why. In the end, my dad lives by convenience. That’s why he lives with Marsha.’ Parents who want children who live by God’s moral standards must themselves live by those same standards, no matter how ‘impractical’ it may be. (Ron L. Deal, from article “The Elephant in the Bedroom”)

Also, we recommend you read:


We pray you look at this issue of shacking up (also termed as living together) from a practical standpoint. But above all, look at it from God’s view. It violates so many of His rules. And you can’t, or never should discount the importance of what God says about all of this.

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2 responses to “Shacking Up VS Marriage – Dave Ramsey

  1. I did live together with my wife 2 years and then married her. In 23 years together we built a life together. Money, homes, jobs. Recently last 1-1/2-2 years she has an affair with a handy nan she hired and is shacked up with someone in our old marital home. She now bad mouths marriage to me forgetting the benefits of true, basic love & support and safety and fidelity that come with marriage.

    My mother always said there is protection in the marriage and I just now think I am learning what that means. You look out for each other in a marriage. In a shack up you really don’t have an investment. She does not know what she is truly in for.

    I had no children with her but do have a cute dog I visit and could not take with me currently. I did get a check for Home Equity but it was on the low side and does not anywhere come close to the sentimental value of what is lost. I encourage everyone to see a marriage counselor NOW before it’s too late.

    1. So sorry Kevin, that this has happened to you and to your marriage. This has got to hurt you more than most anyone could imagine (other than someone who has experienced this, although every situation is at least a bit different). I pray your wife wakes up–for everyone’s sake, including hers. No matter what she felt about your marriage before the affair it never justifies cheating. Yes, she will pay a big price–either now or later, or both.

      I pray that you are able to find a place of peace, despite this horrible situation. I pray that God ministers to you and in you and help you navigate the enormous hurt you are experiencing so it doesn’t poison your outlook on life (although it will change it in different ways) and poison your future. Christ is our Redeemer. I encourage you to lean into Him. He knows what it’s like to be betrayed. He can help you as you look to Him. I’ve seen this happen time and time again. Healing can eventually happen as you lean upon Him. I hope you will.